For the past couple weeks, I’ve been receiving emails from the Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon with all sorts of great information that I want to share in this blog post. This will be my first non-runDisney half marathon and my third half marathon overall! I’m really excited about running a half marathon course that does not involve running through theme parks and to see how fast I can go for 13.1 miles. When I was training for the Dumbo Double Dare, my long runs all were pointing towards a half marathon finish time of around 2 hours, 50 minutes. So, I was a little disappointed to finish in 3 hours even. I feel like the heat that we all had to deal with combined with the overcrowding at parts of the course and running through two theme parks, slowed me down a little. So, this Sunday, I get to see whether that was the problem. Again, my long runs indicate that I should finish around 2 hours, 50 minutes. That’s my goal. We shall see what happens when I line up for my third half marathon this Sunday.
At the health expo for the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, I stopped by the Rock n Roll Marathon Series booth and got a peek at some items that will be mine by weekend’s end. First, I was stoked to see the cool race shirt for this race…
As I’ve mentioned before, I love blue. So a blue tech race shirt is awesome to me! Also, check out the bling for this race!!!!
As you can see, runDisney is not the only race organizer with cool finisher medals. These medals are high quality medals and look even better in person than this picture. If I can combine this with a shiny new half marathon PR, it will be a LEGENDARY weekend for sure!
The Final Race information includes 8 pages of information. So, I’ll just highlight some of the details…
As you can see, the fun starts with a health expo on Friday and Saturday. Given that I will be working for the entire time that the expo is open on Friday, I’ll be heading down on Saturday to get my bib and swag. On unfortunate thing about this race is that the runners will have to pay for parking at both the expo and the race itself. With the minimum parking cost of $10, I’ve decided to take the train to both. With day passes at $6, it will cost me only $2 more to for both days than it would be to park for just one of them. Plus, the start of the race is around the Los Angeles Convention Center (where the expo is located), so, it will give me practice for transporting myself to and from where everything is happening. If taking the train proves to be really inconvenient on Saturday, I can always decide to drive to the race on Sunday. I’ve always driven to races in the past. This will be a new experience for me that I’m kind of excited about. When I saw the parking fee, I figured out how to get to the start line via the train (since there is a train stop within 1/4 mile of my apartment and a couple blocks from the start/finish area) and am all set.
I really like the Expo floor plan. It seems to be pretty similar to the floor plan at the Expo for the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon from a couple of weeks ago. The flow of the floor plan seems ideal for an expo. You check in and get your race bib, then the next place to go is where you get your race t-shirt and swag. Then, you’re on to the official merch area. Finally out to the main exhibitor floor. This kind of floor plan seemed to work pretty well in Long Beach. So, I’m hoping it does the same here. As you can see in the floor plan, there will be plenty of exhibitors out. So, I look forward to seeing everything there.
This is the interesting race course. I’m totally looking forward to running around the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the USC campus and the Staples Center! To be honest, I’m haven’t scanned the course for hills yet. However, that’s the plan for tomorrow. Unlike my preparations for the Disneyland Half Marathon, I will not have run this course beforehand. That’s fine.
Race day should be exciting. The start corrals will open up at 6:45am. There will be 21 corrals for this race. I will be in corral 16. According to the final information, the corrals will go off 1-2 minutes after the previous corral has cleared. So, I’ve got a minimum of 30 minutes to wait before I get to go. Some interesting facts about the race course…
- there will be 7 aid stations with water, 3 (of the 7) stations with Lemon-Lime Gatorade Endurance Formula, and 1 (of the stations) will have GU Energy Gel (flavors included Vanilla Bean, Mandarin Orange, and Strawberry Banana).
- Water Monster: In an effort to reduce waste and go green, we will be utilizing Water Monster portable water dispensers instead of bottles at the aid stations on course. Water Monster uses municipal water and washes their barrels, hoses and pitchers with bar rinse before and after each use. What is Water Monster? See the video below. I wonder if we’re going to get those pouches in the video.
- From the course map, it looks like there will be 11 local bands along the course! This is Los Angeles. So, I’ll be looking forward to seeing if the bands are any good. Although, I probably won’t be around them long enough to really tell. Still, I’m looking forward to this part of the course.
- Also, along the course, there will be local high school cheer squads. I’ve seen this in my two runDisney half marathons and thought they provided some extra energy. According to the information given to us runners, it looks like these groups will be competing for most spirited, energetic, and creative for cash prizes. Very interesting!
- DJ Hapa: For the first time in Rock n Roll Marathon Series history, we’re replacing the finish line iPod with a live DJ! The world-renowned DJ Hapa will take the stage and spin a live set all morning long, providing you with the energy you need to rock the homestretch. He even created a training mix for us runners you can listen to here.
In our final information, they also have a map of the finish line zone. Check out all the zones we go through at the end of the race…
So, we will get Arrowhead water first. Then, bling it up with those fantastic medals and get to show them off in our Marathon Photo. Then, we’ll get towels and Gatorade. All of that I’ve seen at many races before. However, following the Gatorade we get a Power Bar, Chocolate Milk and Jamba Juice! Jamba Juice people! This might be the best post-race food I’ve ever had! Not only does the Jamba Juice excite me, but we have 2 waters! When I’m getting tired in the race, I think I need to keep Jamba Juice in my mind to get me to the finish. Forget the bling…I want the Jamba Juice!
After the race, there is a festival at L.A. Live featuring a concert by 429 Records’ Cracker. For every finisher over the age of 21, there will be one complimentary Michelob ULTRA beer at the finish. They sent out an email today reminding us runners to bring our ID’s with us if we wish to take advantage of the free beer. If I were an alcohol drinker, I’m sure I’d be taking advantage of the free drink.
The runDisney races have a 16 minute per mile max time from when the last runner starts. The Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon has a 4 hour time limit from the time the last runner starts. While this time limit should not affect me, it is interesting that the time limit is a little slower than runDisney allows. The one cut-off mentioned in our instructions is that you need to cross mile 9.2 by 10:40am. By this point on the course, there should be two-way running. So, if you haven’t reached the cut-off point, you’ll be asked to make a U-turn and join the rest of the route (cutting off 1.3 miles from the half marathon route).
Lastly, I will be signing up for runner tracking. So, if you wish to follow along, please choose to follow my Twitter feed. Look for the “Follow me on Twitter” box in the right side of this blog. Click on the “Follow” button and you’ll be set. Unlike the runDisney races, I do have to pay ($5) to have my tracking sent. However, that’s cool with me. Since I’m using this race as a time for my placement at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon, I want to have the information easily accessible.
Sorry for the long post. However, at least it’s not all 8 pages that I received from the folks with the Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon. I can’t wait to be among a large group of runners again this Sunday! See you at the finish line!